A comic book hero to immortalize on Skye

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A collection of Angus Og cartoons is set to be digitized and preserved by High Life Highland Archives after receiving funding worth £40,000 from the Scottish Government.

Created by cartoonist Ewen Bain, The Adventures of Og was based on the legendary Isle of Drambeg in the Total Hebrides.

The award will fund a post which will be based at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Center in Portree.

The position will research, digitize, curate and promote a collection of Angus Og cartoons – over 4,000 individual items – all of which were donated to the archives by Ewen’s daughter in 2019.

Catherine MacPhee, Skye and Lochalsh Archvist, said: “The survival of this collection is important not just for Skye, but as part of Scotland’s social history.

“As well as being nationally known and loved, the cartoons address ever-present socio-political issues, including language loss, the impacts of tourism, and social imbalances.”

Angus Og started in the Bulletin and was published in the Daily Record from 1960 to 1989.

There were 158 Adventures of Angus Og and the soundtrack collection was donated to the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.

Ewen Bain was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, in 1925 and was the youngest of three children of John and Flora Bain from the Isle of Skye. His father from Waternish and his mother from Staffin moved to Glasgow in 1912 and the family spent every summer in Staffin.

Ewen’s daughter, Rhona Flin, who gifted the collection, said: “My father would have been delighted to know of this special investment in the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Center which will allow much wider access to the Angus Og collection.”

High Life Highland is looking to develop an accessible Angus Og collectible exhibition which will be presented at the archives center and then toured with workshops, readings and discussions.

The tape will also be available online on Am Baile’s website.

The funding is part of the National Island Plan which is given to all Scottish local authorities with island populations to support the development of cultural and historic resources.